Super Bowl ad for GoDaddy.com included wardrobe malfunction
A steamy Super Bowl ad was apparently too hot for the NFL to show more than once, and was yanked from its paid slot in the second half of the game.
GoDaddy.com, an Internet domain registrar, tried to capitalize on last year’s Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” scandal with a commercial featuring a buxom young woman whose flimsy top repeatedly comes undone while testifying before “broadcast censorship hearings.”
While a longer version of the commercial that aired was rejected by the Fox Television Network, the aired version seemed certain to reignite the nationwide controversy that erupted after last year’s Super Bowl halftime show featuring Janet Jackson’s top coming undone, baring her breast.
The $2.4 million GoDaddy spot, which included no nudity, was aired early in the first quarter.
“It was scheduled to run also in the second ad position during the final two-minute warning,” said Bob Parsons, GoDaddy’s CEO. “Our ad never ran a second time. Instead, in its place, we saw an advertisement promoting, of all things, ‘The Simpsons.’
“We immediately contacted Fox to find out what happened. Here’s what we were told: After our first ad was aired, the NFL became upset and they, together with Fox, decided to pull the ad from running a second time.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told CNN/Money that league executives contacted the network after seeing the commercial, which they had not pre-screened. The reason, he explained, “was exactly what many people felt. It was inappropriate.”
Parsons is looking for a refund from Fox, and is not ruling out the possibility of legal action against the television company.
“I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about this over the next few days,” Parsons writes on his weblog. “I believe that it’s the first time ever a decision was made to pull an ad after it had already been run once during the same broadcast.”
GoDaddy’s ad among most replayed moments of Super Bowl XXXIX
The plot of the ad featured the woman testifying before a congressional-style hearing, based ironically in Salem, Mass., notorious for witch hunts among Puritans in America’s colonial days. She was looking to be on a commercial for the Internet company when her spaghetti strap unattached from her shoulder.
Many people could not get enough of the ad, as its first few seconds were the most replayed moments of any commercial in the game, according to digital-video manufacturer TiVo, which measured audience behavior.
“Marketers who walked the finest line on taste still had the most success in getting viewers to sit up and take notice,” the company said.
Throngs of people searching for the ad online this morning crushed the servers of Adrants.com, a site inviting comments on advertising.
The demand “pummeled our operation and we’ve had to move to a more industrial strength server,” Adrants said.
On Parsons’ weblog, reaction to the campaign was mostly favorable.
A poll of WorldNetDaily readers about the ad revealed a wide range of opinions. While 19 percent of respondents said they neither saw the ad nor wished to view it, 18 percent said “I find ads for sexual-performance products much more offensive than this ad.”
Coming in at 12 and 11 percent each were responses that “the ad would be OK for late-night TV, but not the Super Bowl with kids watching,” and “it may have pushed the envelope a bit, but was still suitable for broadcast.”